Last night was not a night for sleeping. My body was exhausted, but my mind was wasn't. Every personal doubt and concern was brought to my attention. Struggles and problems that some of my children are facing, consumed my thoughts. Uncompleted tasks, school work, weight loss, home projects, financial matters, and so much more were played over and over and over in my mind all night long. I could hardly wait until 5:30am came so that I could go on my walk and leave all that behind for an hour or so. And that is what I did. The walk refreshed me, gave some sense of clarity to my thoughts and allowed for me to regroup and continue on with my daily routine which lead me into my scripture study.
This is where I testify that a study of the scriptures and taking the time to ponder is truly how the Lord speaks to us. I opened up to where I last ended, that being 2 Nephi 5. Kids..........go get your scriptures, I discovered a beautiful, inspired pattern that addresses all that consumed my mind the night before and I desire for you to learn this pattern as well. The end result of this pattern is found in verse 27: "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." As I read that verse,I immediately was overcome with a desire to "live after the manner of happiness" and no longer be plagued with what I felt was unproductive thoughts and feelings. With that in mind, I reread,studied and pondered and discovered this pattern to do just that.
1. Verse 6: Nephi has been told by the Lord to take"... those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God" (v 6) and separate from those who sought to destroy him. We must separate ourselves from anything that would destroy us spiritually and keep us from living after the manner of happiness. For me, at this particular moment in time, that would be feelings of being overwhelmed and thoughts that are thwarting my progression.
2. Verses 12 - 13: Nephi brought with him, the records and the Liahona "... and began to prosper exceedingly". Scripture study and application, along with the companionship of the Holy Ghost is our guide to living after the manner of happiness.
3. Verses 15, 17: Nephi teaches his people to "...work..to be industrious, and to labor with their hands.". Being engaged in work, hard work, every single day work, physical, mental, spiritual work, is ESSENTIAL to living after the manner of happiness. IDLENESS, whether it be physical, mental and/or spiritual is the WORK of the adversary!
4. Verse 16: Nephi constructs a temple where the "....workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine". We are not required to construct a temple, but we are required to worship at a temple where we make and keep sacred covenants. The exceedingly fine workmanship that we offer is by consistently going and serving others and renewing covenants. Covenants and temples allow for us to continue to live after the manner of happiness even when life gets stressful and hard.
5. Verses 25: The Lord tells Nephi that his brothers seed will serve as "...a scourge...to stir them up in remembrance of me [the Lord]". I know that all those doubts, concerns, thoughts, problems will not magically disappear and stay away. But instead of letting them keep me stagnant I can let them stir me up to act and rely on the Lord and pursue my desire to live after the manner of happiness.
6. Verse 26: Nephi consecrates his brothers to teach and minister to his people. I do not have the authority to consecrate anyone to that position and responsibility. But as your mom, I would ask that you teach each other, your spouses, your children, and your grandchildren how to live after the manner of happiness.
I write that my children may know.... that I desire to do all I can so that we can all live after the manner of happiness.